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A New Farmers Market | Business

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A New Farmers Market
A New Farmers Market

J. Bennett Rylah

The Fulton Street Farmers Market was one of the first markets established in Grand Rapids in the early 1900s, but the only one that would sell directly to consumers versus to wholesalers. While new technology was enabling food to travel longer distances, food prices were increasing. A group of housewives decided to utilize the farmland that surrounded them to establish the market. It was a grassroots effort made possible with community volunteers. And as the Market celebrates its 90th birthday this year, it's still a community project. On Saturday, May 5, the Market will experience a rebirth as its renovation is revealed to the public at 7:45 a.m., right before opening to shoppers for the year.

"I used to avoid coming here on Saturdays," admits Christine Helms-Maletic, Fulton Street Farmers Market's Project Development Manager. "It was always so crowded."

But space wasn't the only issue facing the Farmers Market. A deteriorating facility, pot holes in the parking lot and an unkempt appearance were additional factors in deciding to...

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